At our SEO Meet Up on Wednesday, Caitlin and I covered the increasingly popular topic of social media and why it is no longer an option for most businesses.Social Media Presentation

I’d like to thank everyone who attended and shared their support and for those of you that weren’t there, I want to provide a little recap of what we talked about.

Social Media Uses

Social media can be used for so many things and can be tailored for each sector of the business world. From addressing customer complaints to building new connections with like-minded folks, social media provides a sea of opportunity for companies to reach their audience. Here are just a few other ways that social media is utilized:

  • PR
  • Communications
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Networking, etc.

 

#1 Marketing Tactic in 2013

Social media has become essential for businesses. In a recent survey, it was found that 68% of businesses are spending a large amount of their marketing budgets are on social media and Internet marketing.

  • In 2015, brands will be generating HALF of their web sales through social media and mobile platforms

 

Strategy is Everything

To be successful in social media, you need to have a strategy in place on how you are going to execute each social channel. It is important to establish who will be handling social media, how it will  be monitored, etc. Different networks require different strategies as well as different audiences require different content. There are four steps to creating a cohesive and successful social strategy:

  • Set goals
  • Create a content strategy
  • Location is key – which platform is best for your business? Where is your audience?
  • Measure your campaigns performance

 

Which Network Should I Use?

There are so many different social platforms available now that it can be a bit overwhelming to try and pick the best avenue to reach your desired audience. Furthermore, each social media channel caters to certain content. Sometimes it will take some trial and error on what content works best with each platform. It is important to listen to your audience and figure out what kind of strategy will best keep them engaged in your business. We all know the big social media players like Facebook and Twitter, however, don’t forget to check out the niche social media networks. You will find a more targeted audience with this niche networks as well as better engagement with your campaign. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind for the popular networks:

    Facebook

  • Broadest reach
  • Huge sharing potential
  • Facebook ad targeting
  • Can use to reach anyone

 

    Twitter

  • Immediate action, in the moment posts
  • Very short lifespan
  • Use for marketing, new technology, consumer brands

 

    Google+

  • Use to build your brand
  • SEO benefits
  • Mostly business professionals
  • Not good for B2C
  • Essential for bloggers

 

    LinkedIn

  • B2B leads and networking
  • Excellent referral traffic
  • Sponsored updates

 

    Pinterest

  • Audience: fashion, health, home, décor
  • Great for small businesses and Etsy shops
  • Use high-quality images
  • Mostly women
  • Great for clothing retailers, food, household products, beauty products

 

    YouTube

  • Great for testimonials and product reviews
  • How to, guides, tours
  • Used mostly by service providers and consumer products

 

What’s a Strategy Without Engagement?

There are many ways to interact with your audience and encourage engagement in social media. First and foremost, have conversations with your followers. Answer their questions and develop relationships with them. This will not only help you from an SEO standpoint, but it will also help to build brand loyalty and show your customers that you company truly cares about them.

Make sure you provide the easiest possible way for people to engage with your business. This can be done by providing social sharing options right on your website. Your customers will be 50% more likely to “like” your page if they never have to navigate off of your website. Without followers, you can’t have engagement, so thank your followers for choosing to follow your brand.

Keep your posts short and sweet, usually between 100-150 characters. Twitter will only show the first 140 characters. Use pictures, videos, quotes, etc. Pictures and contests receive the highest engagement on social channels.

People are 51% more likely to retweet if you ask them to. Same goes for Facebook, when asked to “Like” or “share” content, people shared 33% more than when it was not directly asked that they like or share the content.

 

What Not to Do

  • Self-promote
  • Bash competitors
  • Take a side on controversial issues
  • Beg
  • Lie
  • Sell

 

Social Media & Rankings

Social media DOES influence rankings. There are many things that are factored into where your website rankings in Google’s SERPs and social media is one of them. Your social media networks act as a vote of authority for your website. You are basically telling Google that people care about your company.

Google loves brands, which is why it is important to establish your brand across the web. The more active and consistent brand your company has, the more Google sees your website as a leader in the industry. Unfortunately, we are all under Google’s thumb and they know it. Which is why having a Google+ is so important. Studies have been done that show that Google+ 1’s weight higher than any other network in the SERPs. Google will display how many +1’s a company has as well as a link to their Google+ page within the rich snippet. Surprise surprise, they do not include Facebook likes or Twitter followers.

 

In a nutshell, social media has become crucial to businesses success. Social media impacts rankings and provides a vote of authority for your website. So sign your business up today and get tweeting!  Oh and don’t forget to bow down to the Google Gods that be and create a Google+ page!

 

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